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Loew and Hickersberger ban wasn´t justified, says Blatter

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says the one-match bans handed to both Germany coach Joachim Loew and Austria's Josef Hickersberger by UEFA during a Euro 2008 group game were unjustified.

Loew and Hickersberger were both banned after being sent to the stands in the first-half of Germany's 1-0 win over Austria in Vienna on June 16 by referee Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez for arguing with fourth official Damir Skomina from Slovenia.

Loew was then allowed no contact with his team during the 3-2 quarter-final win over Portugal in Basel where he had to watch the game from the stands, while Hickersberger would have also served a ban had he stayed on as coach.

But Blatter says UEFA should have not banned the pair, saying coaches should be allowed to get on with their job and be left in peace by the fourth official during matches.

“They were wrongly sanctioned,” Blatter told Austrian television channel ORF.

“The fourth referee should not create problems and should let the trainers do their work.”

Sun 29 June, 2008
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